Convergys, a Boston based provider of medical malpractice insurance, released a report this month in which they content that as much as 15 percent of all negligence claims may be related to radiology errors. They also highlighted how the most common condition misdiagnosed because of these errors is cancer.
Researchers with the liability insurance provider combed the records of nearly 600 claims closed during the four years between 2013 and 2017. At least 80 percent of the claims filed against radiologists occurred because of suspected misdiagnoses and most often ones for cancer.
Images most commonly misinterpreted by radiologists were ones where patients were later found to have lung, breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancers. Oftentimes, patients who were misdiagnosed weren’t encouraged to seek out a second opinion until their condition had progressed significantly. By then, many had suffered permanent injuries or death.
The researchers ultimately suggested that a number of different measures could be taken to reduce the poorly interpreted images. They suggested always requiring a second opinion. They also suggested doing away with the use of phrases such as “likely represents” and “consistent with” when writing reports.
Like all doctors, it’s the responsibility of radiologists to provide all patients that they read films for with a certain standard of care. When a cancer is misdiagnosed and injuries or death results, then the U.S. legal system allows for them to held financial responsible for the harm that they cause. In reviewing your case, a New Haven medical malpractice attorney can advise you of your rights and let you know whether you may have a valid claim.